To apply process mining in your business, it is a good idea to be aware of its possible use cases. Understanding them is the key to become acquainted with process mining. This article gathers the most common 33 use cases covering general processes, sales, finance, IT processes as well as applications in the industrial sector.

General Processes

1- Process optimization: Companies can used process mining for faster and more accurate analysis of their processes. The event logs can infer performance metrics and, they can be used to identify bottlenecks and costly steps to optimize speed. Instead of wasting time on understanding processes, companies can use their time to take potential actions.

2- Process discovery for automation: Automation provides faster and lower-cost solutions. However, companies need to examine their processes to use automation tools efficiently. According to QPR, process mining can reduce automation implementation time by 50%.

3- Conformance validation: Companies can check if their actual processes conform to the given specifications. For example, purchasing decisions need different approvals based on the ticket size and nature of the item purchased. 

Nonconforming cases, reasons for deviations and, conformance trends can be analyzed, too. Companies can take action to reduce these deviations and ensure standardized processes.

4- Harmonization: Companies can use process mining to harmonize distinct processes efficiently. The insights from process mining tools enable the fast realization of the planned synergies. For example, Nokia adapts its purchase-to-pay and order-to-cash processes to achieve a smooth customer experience. By mining its processes, Nokia obtained the necessary knowledge of how to conjugate these processes.

5- Process Simulation: Companies can make future predictions by mining their processes with the data gained from event logs. Their predictive analysis can be used to inform stakeholders and customers. For example, the customer can receive an accurate estimate of when her loan application will be processed.

6- Organizational Mining: Process logs can identify organizational relationships, performance gaps, and best practices. However, almost all processes have a human component. Process data can be used to understand and improve the human aspects of processes.

Common Business Functions

Sales

Lead-To-Order

7- Reduced sales cycle time: Lead-to-order processes can take a long time. This causes the payback time of marketing investments to increase. Companies can uncover the reasons behind this issue and, take action to reduce sales cycle time.

8- Increased conversion rate: Converting marketing strategies into sales is critical for companies. With process mining, companies can discover if they have proper strategies for increasing conversion rates.

Order-To-Cash

9- Increasing on-time delivery: For customer satisfaction, on-time deliveries are essential. Companies can use process mining to uncover the reasons behind late deliveries. QPR Process Mining Tool states that its customers have increased their on-time deliveries by 13%.

10- Identifying reasons that hurt monthly revenue: Companies may lose a portion of their earnings during this process due to long-running holds or order cancellations. Process mining tools may point out the root causes of those issues and, companies can minimize those losses accordingly.

11- Locating key regions: With process mining, the companies can detect their high-value customers and critical areas to focus on those areas.

12- Identifying root causes of order changes: Customers sometimes change their orders which causes processes to take a longer time. The unclarity of pre-order stages might cause these order changes. Companies prefer to decrease these order changes to stabilize their processes.

13- Benchmark the amount of returned goods: Companies can discover the value of returned goods by using process mining. According to this insight, they can focus on improving their order-to-cash processes.

IT Service Management

14- Reduced risk in ERP related developments: In Lassila & Tikanoja’s case study, the company has implemented a new ERP system. QPR ProcessAnalyzer ensured that the transition to a new ERP system will be smooth.

15- Reduced costs in ERP maintenance, development and support:  Process mining can pinpoint mistakes or gaps in the IT systems. Companies can eliminate those costs.

16- Delivering higher first-time resolution: IT systems may not provide the correct solution at their first try. Process mining tools can produce data-driven insights to increase the first-time resolution rate.

17- Discovering root causes of delays: Long-running tickets in IT systems is a common issue. Companies can mine their processes to understand why those tickets are open for long. From the results gained from process mining tools, companies may discover shortfalls in their IT systems.

18- Automating for faster resolution times: IT service management is another field that is open to automation. Companies can use process mining to pinpoint areas to automate and provide faster resolution times. As a fact, Celonis remarks that resolution times can be decreased by 65% with process mining tools.

Finance

Purchase-To-Pay

19- Identifying manual steps to automate: Mistakes and manual interventions made in purchase-to-pay processes increase lead time. Companies can use process mining as a solution to find compatible areas of automation. With that, the company can improve its first-time-right rate by diminishing mistakes and reduce its rework time. According to Celonis, their process mining tool can increase automation by 35% and decrease rework time by 52%.

20- Eliminate maverick buying: Companies can mine their purchase-to-pay processes to reduce maverick buying. If companies have problems with this issue, they may find certain areas to improve the use of frame agreements with process mining. Celonis states that their tool can decrease maverick buying by 40%.

21- Uncovering root causes for delays: Process mining enables companies to pinpoint which suppliers, products or departments cause delays. By taking relevant actions, they can achieve more on-time deliveries internally.

Accounts Receivable

22- Discover actions to encourage on-time payments: Customers don’t always pay on time. Companies can’t collect their receivables on-time in the end, and this might affect other processes. Process mining can identify the causes of this problem and find appropriate solutions.

23- Quicker invoicing: Billing your customers is another process that can become expensive and complicated from time to time. Process mining discovers the bottlenecks in the invoicing process and may find ways to automate it. As a result, it is possible to diminish invoice costs and provide quicker invoicing. Celonis states that their process mining software shortens the invoicing processes by 21%.

Accounts Payable

24- Reducing late payments: Companies can mine their processes to uncover the reasons for their late payments. By fixing these inefficiencies, companies can diminish late payments and improve cash discounts.

25- Identifying root causes for incorrect invoices: Mistakes on the invoices or duplicate payments are common issues that cause extra workload. Companies can identify the reasons for these cases with process mining. Celonis remarks that its software has reduced its customers’ duplicate payments by 67%.

Audit

26- Compare “before” and “after”: When a company makes a change in its process, verifying the improvement may be a challenge. For consultants, process mining enables consultants to relate “before” and “after” of the processes.

27- Improve response time: While traditional process discovery may take months, process mining speeds everything up. As a result, consultants can come up with first results quickly. For example, EY reduced its audit preparation time by 50%

28- Risk identification: Process mining assures data-based information to consultants. With insights, consultants can identify risks and advise companies accurately.

Operations / Industrial

Logistics

29- Reducing warehousing costs: It is hard to identify which warehouses cause logistics problems. Making mistakes in inventories also causes extra warehousing costs. Process mining provides full transparency in warehouse management. Thus, companies can locate problematic warehouses and diminish warehousing costs. The companies can save 40% of their warehousing costs according to QPR.

30- Widening geographic range: Companies can widen their geographic reach by optimizing the locations of their warehouses. QPR remarks that the companies that use their process mining tool have increased their geographical reach by 20%.

31- Identifying the root causes of delays: Logistic delays may cause late deliveries and reduce the expected revenue. Process mining can discover the root causes of these delays. Companies can focus on these issues to avert possible revenue losses. With Celonis, companies have increased their on-time delivery by 18%.

Production 

32- Reduced cycle time: To improve the output, reducing the production cycle time is a smart solution. Process mining can show the inefficiencies within the production processes. Companies can reduce their cycle time by fixing these inefficiencies. According to Celonis, the throughput time can be shortened by 22% in the production processes.

33- Reduced rework in production: Companies can reduce their reworks by creating in-process alerts. As the manufacturing deviates from the standard, the process mining software can report to the relevant units. It provides companies to ensure better quality products, as well.

For more on Process Mining

To learn more about process mining, feel free to read:

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